Large, wasp-like insect
Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 2:46 AM
I’ve worked at a summer camp near the Cascade Mountains in Washington for the last three years, and I’ve only seen this kind of insect once. There were two of them on the rocks near the pool, and neither moved at all, even when I went in for a close-up. I was particularly interested because of their size – if I remember right they were about twice the size of the European paper wasps we normally see around here.
Vector
Central Washington

Raspberry Crown Borer

Raspberry Crown Borer

Hi Vector,
This is one of the Wasp Mimic Clearwing Moths in the family Sesiidae.  We believe it is the Raspberry Crown Borer, Pennisetia marginata, also called the Blackberry Crown Borer since it feeds on both plants.  According to BugGuide: “larvae bore inside roots (stock and crown) of blackberry/raspberry (Rubus spp.) “

Raspberry Crown Borers

Raspberry Crown Borers

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown insects from Madagascar
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 8:36 PM
Found incidentally during a geological prospection in arbustives impenetrable hills:)
Two groups of individuals’ about twenty each, unite in end of branch, close to the soil. Do not steal (chrysalises? In transformation?)
Aragon
North of Madagascar (Ambilobe region)

Immature Fulgorid Planthoppers

Immature Fulgorid Planthoppers

Dear Aragon,
What we are certain of is that these insects are in the order Hemiptera which includes True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies and probably in the Superfamily Fulgoroidea, the Planthoppers.  Many immature Fulgorid Planthoppers  secrete a white waxy substance that forms filaments and the wax is a protection for the soft bodied insects.  We suspect this may be one of the Fulgorid Planthoppers, but we are not certain.  There is a spectacular Central American Planthopper, Cerogenes auricoma , that also produces the waxy filaments as an adult.  We will continue to try to identify this insect more specifically, and we also welcome any input from our readership.

Immature Fulgorid Planthoppers

Immature Fulgorid Planthoppers

Male Pollen Beetle (aussietrev)
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 8:04 PM
Hi guys,
This is a male Pollen beetle Dicranolaius bellulus in the family Melyridae (sex indicated by the enlarged 3rd segment of the antennae) Only around 8mm overall and very fast. The dark areas on the back are metallic blue/green depending on the lighting. I reckon that thorax looks like a Xmas cherry!
Happy New Year all
aussietrev
Queensland

Pollen Beetle

Pollen Beetle

Hi Trevor,
Thanks for your wonderful image of a male Pollen Beetle.  We posted three new Australian beetles to the web site today.  The Csiro Entomology web site has a drawing of this species showing the enlarged antenna segment.  We can only speculate that those enlarged antennae segments have something to do with mate location.  The Brisbane Insect web site also has some photographs of this member of the family Melyridae, the Pollen Beetles.  This is our last posting for awhile.  We are wasting away the precious winter daylight hours in Los Angeles when we could be gardening.  We have some collard greens to harvest and much weeding to do.  Recent rains have saturated the soil and it is now the warmest day in over a week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Very large mommy and babies (?) in Ocala FL area
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM
Hello! Love your site!!
Last summer, we where driving across FL and stopped in Ocala at a large truck stop. This mommy and what I believe was a baby or siblings had a HUGE web built behind a BBQ stand. The biggest was about 6″ end to end and the smaller (in the second picture) was about 4″ long. Can you identify them (so we know if we should avoid them in the future) :-) Or just take cools pics from afar.
Lauren in NPR FL
Ocala FL

Pair of Golden Silk Spiders

Pair of Golden Silk Spiders

Hi Lauren,
Your assumption that this Golden Silk Spider was tending to her young is understandable, but incorrect.  The large female Golden Silk Spider, Nephila clavipes, dwarfs her mate by being as much as 100 times his mass.  Golden Silk Spiders are not dangerous, but we imagine that they might bite if threatened, but there would be no lasting effects of the bite beyond local pain and swelling.

unknown insect
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 8:07 AM
I don’t even know what order to start searching. On a winter day (30degreesF) I found this insect crawling on the sidewalk near the entrance to a storage area in our nature center. I had just been in the storage area so it is possible that I displaced it from the heated area into the cold. It caught my eye because a.) it was a bug crawling around on a cold winter day, b.) it looked/moved like a spider but wasn’t. As you can see from the photos, its about 1/4 inch long, not including legs. Also, it occasionally pulled its legs in very tight to its body in a posture that seemed defensive. I was unable to get a photo of that because it never stayed that way for long.
Thanks for your awesome website. You might want to create some forum/support group for WTB addicts like me who check your site 3 times a day.
Vince
Northern Indiana

Wingless Winter Crane Fly

Wingless Winter Crane Fly

Hi Vince,
Thanks so much for your kind letter. We were a bit stumped by this image as well, so we contacted Eric Eaton before posting. Here is what we wrote to Eric and how he responded
Hi Eric,
I didn’t want to appear to be a total moron on this one, so I didn’t
want to post it until I contacted you. It sure looks like a fly to me, possibly
a type of crane fly, but I’m not having any luck with the ID. Can you
assist?
Daniel

Wingless Winter Crane Fly

Wingless Winter Crane Fly

Daniel:
Oh, wow, what a cool find! This is a wingless crane fly, probably in the genus Chionea (known as snow flies). We could use this image over at Bugguide where Chen Young could probably ID it to species.
Eric
P.S. insects can make a moron out of ANYBODY! LOL!

So Vince,
We are hoping you will post these images to BugGuide as well and we will contact Dr. Chen Young at the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania website to see if he can provide a species identification. He may also request permission to post your images.

Vince wrote back, but we missed it
I found it…
Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 7:05 AM
Yesterday I sent a pic of a mystery insect. Later in the day, after emails to entomologists around the world, I found out that the insect is a wingless snowfly. It’s related to craneflies and is in the genus Chionea. Here are two good links about snowflies:
http:// somethingscrawlinginmyhair.com/2008/01/19/snow-fly/
http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/limoniinae.htm
and one more picture, with the brightness enhanced.
Vince
Northern Indiana
Thanks a million. Check your INBOX for a follow up submission I sent. I was able to ID it, and found some links to some good info on it. I’ll be sure to contact Eric Eaton and Dr. Young about it.
As a naturalist, I do school programs and public programs for thousands of people every year. Insects are my favorite topic and whenever I do an insect program I am sure to tell people about your website.
Keep up the good work.
Vince

Large Flying Bug with big Pincers
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 5:31 PM
Hi Bugman,
We have just moved into our new house here in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. It is the middle of Summer and we seem to have a rather large bug invade us! It has 6 long legs and 2 very long antennae. IT is Brown in colour and seems capable of flying but doesn’t very much. It has 2 earwig type pincers that give a nasty bite. My 3 year old was pinched by one as it was hiding in his clothing. It seems like a giant earwig, and we have had a rather bad earwig problem here, but do they grow this big? It’s about 4cm long but I’ve seen ones that are up to about 6cm. It really clings on to thing, and are hard to shake off. THey seem to like dark places like clothing on the floor and we would like to get rid of them please! I cannot send a photo yet but will if it helps. Thanks.
Kate
Barossa Valley, near Adelaide, South AUstralia

Poinciana Longicorn

Parandra frenchi

Hi Kate,
We quickly identified your Poinciana Longicorn, Agrianome spinicollis, on the Csiro Entomology web site.  We then found additional images on the Insects of Townsville Australia web site.  The Save Our Waterways Now web site states:  “A common large species in Brisbane is Agrianome Spinicollis, a large khaki species, which often breeds in rot holes of poinciana trees.”  Pages 3 through 5 of a PDF (
hawskeswood160-1 ) we found has some technical information on this Prionid that is wide spread but uncommon in Australia.

Update:  January 30, 2012
With a new photo that arrived of the true Poinciana Longicorn, we are trying to clean up some errors in our archive.  This is actually
Parandra frenchi.  Trevor made a correction in a comment in February 2010, but alas, we did not update the posting until now.  We are also going to correct another posting from NOvember 21, 2009 where we used this same photo to illustrate a letter without an image.